About

Core Franciscan Values of Alvernia University

Service, humility, peacemaking, contemplation, and collegiality—these are the five core values expressed in the mission statements of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and Alvernia University. To call these values “traditional” to the Catholic, Franciscan view of the world does not imply that they are merely “old” or without relevance to contemporary society. On the contrary, these basic values continue to inform a way of life, a view of the world, and a definition of our relationships to their Creator that may be more relevant today than ever before.

These values are very much alive at Alvernia. Together they form the foundation for decision-making, for program development, and for our relationships with each other in the pursuit of our personal, communal, and educational goals. They make an education at Alvernia University distinctive. As members of the Alvernia University community, each of us, no matter our role, willingly proclaims common ownership of these core values.

Core Values Across the Community

Service

  1. We believe that service to others is central to the Franciscan mission and reflects the elemental value of simplicity.
  2. We value the unique contributions and gifts that each person brings to service in our internal communities.
  3. We believe that social responsibility and devotion to service, particularly to the materially and spiritually disadvantaged, is a cornerstone of the Alvernia mission.

The Board of Trustees:

  • approves policies and programs that reflect the commitment to service at Alvernia;
  • promotes the mission of service by example and involvement in the community;
  • supports Alvernia's commitment to service in the community by assuring that resources are adequate to achieve this commitment.

The Administration:

  • provides the opportunity for involvement of the Alvernia family in service to the community;
  • establishes communication with various groups in the community who can afford meaningful opportunities for service;
  • promotes service by example;
  • seeks to understand and provide service to people with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, needs, and wants;
  • budgets adequate resources to assure the effective implementation of service goals.

The Faculty:

  • communicates the value of service to the students and each other through personal action as role models;
  • helps students identify their gifts and talents so they can discern how best to serve the community's needs;
  • provides guidance and leadership to students as they seek to perform service to the community consistent with Franciscan values.

The Staff:

  • supports the service goals of Alvernia and its students;
  • actively participates in service opportunities.

The Students:

  • become aware of their greater role in society to help bring about positive change in all their environments;
  • discover their special gifts and talents through service to others;
  • learn the importance of service as a life-long and life-giving responsibility;
  • seek the guidance of faculty to understand their talents and strive to be role models for each other.

 

Humility

  1. We rejoice in the glory of God as mirrored by creation, especially the unique goodness of each individual person.
  2. We recognize that what we have comes from God and, therefore, we exercise care and good spirit in revering and honoring each other.
  3. We value childlike simplicity that acknowledges need, asks for, and willingly accepts help.
  4. We believe that what good we do is accomplished by God working in us, and we are not concerned with the appropriation of power or status.
  5. We value learning that contributes to the holiness of humanity and the furtherance of God's kingdom.

The Board of Trustees:

  • is open to the Spirit's guidance in planning and in finding creative ways to fulfill our mission;
  • approves policies that are in concert with the teachings of the Magisterium and the tradition of the Bernardine Congregation;
  • represents Alvernia as an institution that values the God given gifts of all its constituents, regardless of position or status.

The Administration:

  • encourages the development of education programs that prepare graduates in all professions to serve the poor, the suffering, and dispossessed;
  • provides leadership that models a true sense of humility, which is marked by respect and concern for others in a world that has a tendency to manipulate, use, and control;
  • develops an institutional culture of humility by orienting members of the college community to the value of each person's gifts and talents.

The Faculty:

  • designs and implements curricula that prepare graduates not only for personal success, but also for professions that serve the poor, the suffering, and the dispossessed;
  • teaches and motivates students to learn and take personal responsibility for their intellectual and spiritual journeys;
  • treats each student with respect, regardless of his/her academic performance or intellectual aptitude.

The Staff:

  • appreciates the individual role to be played by each member of the college community;
  • embraces a partnership style of working with others that is characterized by mutual respect;
  • understands, supports, and promotes the college's policies and programs.

The Students:

  • collaborate in the educational process by accepting the help offered to them by members of the college community;
  • experiences the freedom to search for integrity of life led by the Spirit;
  • take personal responsibility for their spiritual and intellectual journeys;
  • observe and promote policies that encourage respect, concern, and compassion for others.

 

Peacemaking

  1. We believe that peace is a pre-condition for true love.
  2. We believe that peacemaking is the striving for harmonious relations and the development of an environment that is calm and serene, free from strife and contention.
  3. We believe that peacemaking in society should make it easy for all to obtain their material needs and to grow in their spiritual life.
  4. We believe that peacemaking is the personal cooperation of each individual working toward the common good, which embraces the qualities of honesty, moral integrity, and respect for human dignity.
  5. We believe in a peaceful community of learning that resolves conflicts with fairness and justice.
  6. We believe that we are called to be instruments of the Lord's peace, and, by our discipleship, we may sow the seeds of faith, hope, pardon, joy, and love.

 The Board of Trustees:

  • approves policies and fosters an environment of order and harmony within the college community;
  • promotes a collegial decision-making process.

The Administration:

  • makes decisions that reflect truth, justice, and human dignity;
  • seeks cooperation, collaboration, and harmony in decision-making;
  • insures consistent adherence to established policies.

The Faculty:

  • instructs students in understanding the theology of peace and the philosophy and politics of peacemaking as they relate to family, community, organizational, and political settings;
  • demonstrates professional conduct that promotes a peaceful, equitable, and respectful learning environment.

The Staff:

  • carries out responsibilities and relationships with respect, cheerfulness, and helpfulness in the communication of information and the resolution of problems.

The Students:

  • strive to understand and respect the authority, dignity, and special gifts of others;
  • fulfill their responsibility as learners and strive for excellence in their academic, social, and personal endeavors.

 

Contemplation

  1. We believe that each created being, by nature, is called to worship, and we value a prayerful and reverential attitude toward God, one another, and all creation.
  2. We believe that we all are called to be contemplative, "to see with God's eyes."
  3. We believe that God is our Father and we are brother and sister to one another.
  4. We reverence all life, and we treat all creation with care and respect.

 The Board of Trustees:

  • demonstrates equal concern for all facets of college life;
  • approves policies and programs that reflect primarily and consistently the mission of the college.

The Administration:

  • develops and implements policies and programs that provide for the spiritual growth of the college community, promote moral integrity, and enrich relationships to God and fellow human beings;
  • orients board members, faculty, staff, and students to the contemplative dimension of the college mission: to foster a community of faith, reverence for the dignity of all life, commitment to peace and justice, and devotion to service;
  • provides leadership that recognizes and affirms that the major objective of the college is to provide a sound education to students in an environment where the experience of lucid Christian values is of primary concern.

The Faculty:

  • integrates the principles inherent in the contemplative dimension of the college mission statement into departmental curricula and classroom instruction;
  • assists students in discovering the presence of the Creator in self, others, and the physical world.

The Staff:

  • carries out responsibilities and relates to others in a loving way;
  • develop an open and attentive attitude to the presence of the Creator in self, in others, and in the physical world.

The Students:

  • integrate a contemplative attitude into their personal lives and relationships;
  • develop an open and attentive attitude to the presence of the Creator in self, in others, and in the physical world.

 

Collegiality

  1. We believe that collegiality is founded on living the principles of service to others, humility, charity, and joy.
  2. We believe that the spirit of collegiality is demonstrated in leadership that serves others and in a true community of shared vision, purpose, and decision-making.
  3. We believe that the talents of each member of the community are necessary to create a nurturing and peaceful environment for personal growth and development.

The Board of Trustees:

  • nurtures the growth and integration of the college community by approving policies that are mission-centered.

The Administration:

  • exercises authority rather than power in carrying out college policies that serve and promote a caring community based on openness, mutual trust, respect, and joy;
  • seeks the advice and counsel of the college community in decision-making.

The Faculty:

  • assists students in developing a mature intellectual and faith life that opens them to the freedom and self-awareness that make true love and commitment possible;
  • instills in students, by teaching and by example, respect for the dignity of each person and the joy of learning.

The Staff:

  • forms and shares in a caring community that is student-centered and mission-directed.

The Students:

  • enjoy each other's differences, share each other's talents, and thereby enhance the college community.